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Public can view greenway plans
Open house set for Tuesday
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Forsyth County News
Can't make the meeting Tuesday? Comments about the trail system may be mailed to Tim Allen, assistant director of engineering, 110 E. Main St., Suite 120, Cumming, GA 30040. Letters will be accepted until July 2.

Forsyth County resident Jonathan Fowler lives for nature trails.

"Something about being out in the wilderness gets to you," Fowler said. "Getting away from the noise of the city and crowds ... it's something that puts my mind at ease."

Fowler and other hiking enthusiasts may want to attend Tuesday's open house on the final phases of the Big Creek Greenway, which are scheduled to open in 2011.

Forsyth County staff will be on hand to field questions and review plans for the greenway from 5 to 7 p.m. at Sawnee Elementary School, 1616 Canton Highway.

The final phases will include a seven-mile, 12-foot wide, multi-use trail from Bethelview Road to the Sawnee Mountain Preserve and Visitor Center on Spot Road.

Coming sooner are the first three phases of the project, stretching along Big Creek. They are scheduled to be open in August.

Funding for the Big Creek Greenway comes from a $100 million parks, recreation and green space bond approved by voters last year, as well as impact fees collected on new development.

Initial construction on the trail at McFarland Road began in July 2008, with the second and third phases starting about the same time.

After completion in August, residents will be able to access the trail at McFarland, Union Hill and Bethelview roads. Parking will also be available at these points.

The trail will be open to the public during daylight hours.

A similar greenway or "linear park" runs through northern Fulton County, also along Big Creek.

After all five phases of the local greenway are complete, the project will total 15 miles of winding, nature trails.

The board of commissioners approved the design of the two final phases in January. The bid was for $453,000 with architects Pond & Co., which also designed the first three phases.

Fowler said he couldn't be more excited.

"It'll be something that's really good for people here," he said.